Qatar’s MALE Q02 Intelligence gathering aircraft on display in Diamdex 2022

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

Qatar’s Barzan holding company has displayed its latest Q02 medium-altitude long-endurance aircraft in the ongoing Diamdex 2022. Information is hard to come by on the plane and is the second model of the aircraft after Q01.

RS-UAS Q01 reconnaissance plane

RS-UAS Q01 is a single-engine MALE remote sensing and surveillance aircraft made by the German manufacturer Reiner Stemme Utility Air-Systems GmbH (RS-UAS). The plane was developed in 2014 as a MALE / OPV (Optionally piloted Vehicle) platform. 

The aircraft is based on the company’s gliders developed since 1986. The company builds motor gliders and research platforms S10 and S6 with a mid-engine and retractable propeller in the nose.

Qatar Q02 reconnaissance plane
Qatar Q02 reconnaissance plane. Image: Agnes Helou

Q01 flying observation platform can take off with a maximum take-off mass of 2.7 tons and a payload of one ton for missions lasting more than two days. The missions can be carried out autonomously or remotely. The Q01 can accommodate up to three people.  

The platform was created as a joint project with the Emirate of Qatar. The fuselage is built in the Reiner Stemme Utility Air Systems company in Wildau Aerospace Center. It has a high-wing, T-tail and a three-part structure. Some of it was built in Poland. The plane uses fibre composite parts from the StemmeS10 glider. The Stub wings on the fuselage accommodate the main wheels of the retractable landing gear. The stretched-out wing with a large span enables the Q01 to have a low hovering performance, typical for a motor glider. It ensures an endurance of more than 48 hours with a heavily throttled engine and hence minimal consumption of the compression-ignition engine.  

The engine is from Technify Motors GmbH, located in Sankt Egidien, now a subsidiary of Continental Aerospace Technologies GmbH. Technify imports some components from Ukraine. The 310 hp piston engine with a bi-turbocharger for kerosene makes long flight times possible. The large three-blade propeller is also a German product and built by MT-Propeller.

The 50 hour long flight duration as a UAV and the payload of one ton is the design’s hallmarks. It can carry four pods under the wings with a total payload of 90 kilograms. The pods can hold additional fuel tanks or special cameras and sensor systems. The hull can accommodate a radar system underneath. The entire payload volume can be used very flexibly and configured for various missions. 

Q01 is 10.73 m long, 3.27 m high, and has a span of 20 m. The inner wing is 11 m, and the Stub wing is 2.89 m. It can fly at an altitude of 10 km.

Qatar Air Force Barzan Q01

The first customer of the “Q01 Airborne Platform” is the state of Qatar. Each aircraft is worth about Euro 5 million without the payload. As per the open source, Qatar’s aircraft are integrated with Thales Searchmaster 400 radar, an L – 3 Wescam MX 20 – FLIR /TV or MX 25 thermal imaging camera, and an unspecified Textron technology. Qatar uses it for monitoring the Persian Gulf coast and oil and gas production facilities.

QAF Q01 at Barzan Stand
QAF Q01 at Barzan Stand. Image: Agnes Helou

Barzan Holdings

Barzan Holdings defence venture is not a very advertised company. The company’s chairman is Qatari defence minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah. The company has many subsidiaries like the U.S. based Barzan Aeronautical, which has been given the task of developing drones for the emirate.

The state owned company has been set up on a model similar to Emirates Defence Industries Co (EDIC) in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in Riyadh.


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